Qiajuk is a name that originates from the northern part of Greenland. It means “one who easily cries. At the same time it is the name of an amazing Greenlandic women who was a drum dancer and a shaman. A woman easily touched to tears and still a strong women in her own right: QIAJUK
“There was a woman Qiajuk who was a great Shaman. And we Inughuit are very fortune to have her song in heritage to continue the way of life which connect us with our ancestors” Quote from Robert Hivshu Perry III
Dr. Ruth Montgomery-Andersen is a researcher, educator and cultural activist.
She is a multifaceted professional that focuses on a holistic approach to health, health promotion, ethics, use of culture and cultural awareness. Ruth Montgomery-Andersen focuses her research on mother/ child health, CBPR (Community- based Participatory Research), reproductive health and empowerment.
She has experience in collaborative work on Health Impact Assessments-HIA, describing the possible effects of development projects on the health of Greenlandic communities.
“Dancing has worked me to the extremes of exhilaration and exhaustion. It has given me anxiety and soothed me from it. Dance has asked me to define my individuality and to redefine my notions of beauty. It has made me aware of my ego and the complexities of having one.”
“Dans har arbejdet mig til ekstremer af udmattelse, og lykke. Dans har givet mig angst, og beroliget mig fra det. Dans har bedt mig definere min individualitet, og omdefinere mine forestillinger om hvad æstetik kan rumme. Dans har gjort mig opmærksom på mit ego og kompleksiteten i at have et.”
“Det er en stor gave at have uddannede lærere i dans og skuespil, fordi de lærer dig også om livet og udruster dig med gode egenskaber som gavner dig som kunstner og som person.”
“Music keeps me motivated, ambitious and creative. Art gives me space to express myself. Most importantly dancing is who I am; it helps to develop the person I am meant to be. I believe that every dream can be realized if you put your heart into it.”
“Musik er min motivation. Det gør mig ambitiøs og kreativ. Forskellige kunstarter giver mig rum til at ud trykke mit indre. Men dans er mit hjertebarn, det udvikler mit indre jeg. Jeg tror på at en hver drøm kan gå i opfyldelse hvis du har hjertet med dig.”
Reproductive Choice. Researcher april 2013 – june 2014 Reproductive Choice – Examining the Social, Cultural, Environmental and Physiological Dynamics of Pregnancy in Greenland is a 3-year collaborative study focusing on Greenlandic ways of perceiving, understanding and experiencing pregnancy. Future generations of Greenlanders and Greenlandic culture and practices are in jeopardy due to high abortion rates and low birth rates. This project will examine the individual, social, cultural, environmental and physiological factors that appear to have the greatest influence on Greenlandic women’s and men’s reproductive choices. Reproductive Choice will be implemented in Kullorsuaq in northwestern Greenland. The target population for the study is Greenlandic women and men, ages 15 to 49 years. Reproductive Choice is an interdisciplinary international, collaborative community based participatory research (CBPR) study involving the University of Greenland, local health and community partners in Greenland, Indiana University and Montana State University. Reproductive Choice will also contribute to our understanding of the complexity of the factors that may be influencing a declining Arctic population. Through the use of focus groups with varied stakeholders to interpret study results, Reproductive Choice will develop and provide recommendations to policy makers in Greenland regarding how to improve the reproductive health of Greenlanders.
LINK: Under construction
Inuulluataarneq. Project Manager from 2009- 2013
Inuulluataarneq is funded by the National Science Foundation – Award No. 0908151. Supplementary grant was awarded in 2010 by NSF, and the Government of Greenland, specifically for students, competency building and information dissemination of the Inuulluataarneq Project. The Principal investigator is Dr. Elizabeth Rink at MSU–Montana State University.
The purpose of Inuulluataarneq (Having the Good Life) is to develop, implement, evaluate and disseminate a sexually transmitted infection (STI) intervention. It focuses on Greenlandic ways of understanding and knowing about healthy sexual behavior. The target population is 15 to 19 year old adolescents and their parents. Inuulluataarneq is conducted as an interdisciplinary international, collaborative community based participatory research (CBPR) study involving researchers and students from the United States, Canada, Denmark and Greenland. Inuulluataarneq is implemented in Uummannaq and Paamiut.
A HIA (Health Impact Assessment) applies existing knowledge about the health of a people and uses it to create specific social and community contexts. It is the collection of important information that can be used to develop evidence-based recommendations to decision-makers. HIAs have the ability to help policy-makers to protect and improve community health and wellbeing.
2013 Consultancy for PKN Hospital, Lagos Nigeria
More information to follow (2014).
2007- 2009. Greenland’s Sexual Health Survey, Nuuk and Sisimiut, Greenland
The purpose of the Greenland Sexual Health study is to identify the protective and predictive factors responsible for sexually transmitted infections in Greenlanders 15 to 65 years old. Biological samples were collected from both men and women and vaginal swabs from women. These were tested for chlamydial infection, gonorrhea, mycoplasm genitalium, trichomonas vaginalis, and bacterial vaginosis.
Link: Greenland Sexual Health study (pdf)
2006. Wraparound project for at risk families. “Tidlig indsats overfor gravide” The Department of Health seeks to intensify the work don with expecting families that have special needs in connection with the risk of neglect. The goal is to offer culturally relevant program to families that need help in nurturing their unborn/ newborns. The program was initiated in 2007 and evaluated in 2012. It is a part of the ongoing community health program development for families and children initiated by the Government of Greenland.
Link: Tidlig indsats overfor gravide
Over the past 10 years Ruth Montgomery-Andersen and Qiajuk Production has produced and directed several films. The focus of film production is to meet cultural and philosophical needs of families in Greenland. She has together with Totak Produksjon been a part of the team that produce films on family life in Greenland, midwifery in Greenland and teaching tools for professionals working with the survivors of sexual abuse. As a film director Ruth has directed and produced one film “ The Meeting”.
2012. Inuulluataarneq Vignettes. Producer and Project Manager under the Inuulluataarneq Research Project funded by the National Science Foundation (Award No. 0908151) that was granted in June 2009. Vignettes were produced with a supplementary grant was awarded in 2010, specifically for students, competency building and information dissemination of the Inuulluataarneq Project. The Principal investigator is Dr. Elizabeth Rink at MSU–Montana State University. Vignettes
2010. The Meeting. Director/ Producer for documentary “The Meeting”. Showcased at the International Black Women’s Film Festival in Oakland, 2010, San Diego Black Film Festival, 60 N, Os Norway and the Inuit Studies Conference Film Festival. The Meeting (trailer).
2009. Qanuqtuurni – Finding the balance. Resources and a live TV Phone-in Series on Inuit Wellness. Vignette production. 12th of May 2009. Consultant and producer on the Circumpolar Inuit Wellness Program. Qanuqtuurni (video clip).
2009. Nuummioq. Associate Producer for Greenland’s first feature length film. Sundance Festival 2010 and Best Male Actor at Palm Spring’s Film Festival 2011. Nuummioq (Trailer).
2009. Ajortoq Toqqortaq Part II. Co-Producer on this documentary/teaching film for professionals. Part two concerns life as a grown-up after being sexually abused as a child.
2006. The Raven’s Call. Director of TV production of NAPA’s production of dance theatre “The Raven’s Call” (Video clip).
2005. Ajortoq Toqqotaq Part I. Producer for documentary/teaching film for professionals who work with women/men who have been sexually abused as children.
2003. Birth on Human Terms/ At Skabe en Fremtid/ Ilaqutaarinngorneq Co-Producer. A documentary film on the changing role of families within the Greenlandic society.
Ruth Montgomery-Andersen started her training at the age of four. She has studied ballet and modern dance with dancers and teachers such as Lucille Wheaton, Ygor Youskevitch, Merce Cunningham, Alvin Ailey, Kathryn Ricketts and Mary Overlie. Performed professionally the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra in their Corpse de Ballet and later in her career with the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater in their TV production “Memoria”. In 2003 Ruth performed professionally for the last time in “Crossroads”, under the artistic direction of Indra Lorentzen of the Norwegian Royal Ballet.
Starting in 1993 Ruth Montgomery changed focus to choreography. Her performances have been seen in Japan, Denmark, USA, Canada, Faeroe Islands, Alaska and Greenland. Ruth’s choreography ranges from modern dance projects, to fashion shows. She enjoys working with professionals, but also finds meaning and purpose in creating projects and programs for young people, especially youth between the ages of 16-25. She is versatile and has worked with musicians and other artists to create installations and happenings.
2014. Mikiseq. Choreography: Ruth Montgomery–Andersen; Music: Benjamin Mørk; Scenography: Siri Langdalen; Assistant to the Scenograph: Camilla Nielsen and Instruction and dramaturgy: Svenn B. Syrin
Mikiseq tells story about growing up in a suicide-affected family, with abuse of alcohol and violence. Mikiseq has the necessary strength to get through her traumatic childhood and youth, to get a good education, and is now a resourceful, well-functioning person in contemporary Greenland.
Mikiseq’s story will be realized through dance and an audio recording of Mikiseq’s story. The audio text will be recorded in Greenlandic, Danish and English, which opens it up to touring possibilities. Rehearsals will begin in February 2014, and first performance will be on the 2nd of April 2014. Touring throughout Greenland throughout April 2014. Tentative touring plan in the Spring/Summer 2015. Mikiseq.